L. Virginia (Clegg) Harford - March 12, 2009
Virginia Clegg Harford was born Aug. 8, 1918 at Sanborn, Neb. to Lee and Florence Clegg. Her given name was Lorna Virginia, but family tradition had the middle name as the one commonly used.
Virginia attended her first three years of school at the Sanborn School before moving to Haigler with her family where she was enrolled in Haigler Public Schools.
Upon graduation it was decided that she would go to California where her mother’s three sisters lived and do some post graduate work at Bell High School in Los Angeles, where she received another diploma.
Having had music lessons all through her schooling years, and having played for Sunday evening church services and the Haigler Orchestra, Virginia continued her career with music lessons at Bell High School and also from the Los Angeles Music Conservatory.
Virginia was apprehensive about leaving Haigler and her future husband, Don Harford, behind.
When she returned from California, Virginia went to Chadron State Teacher’s College to get a teaching certificate. At that time, one could obtain a certificate to teach in nine months. Upon completing her certificate, she returned to the area where she taught first and second grades at Parks Public Schools in Parks, Neb., for two years. During that time she went back to Chadron over the summer to obtain her Primary School Teaching Methods certificate.
Virginia and Don dated for seven years, and were engaged for two before they were married on Sept. 1, 1939, which happened to be her parent’s 22nd anniversary. Their wedding was a beautiful, simple ceremony at her parent’s home in Haigler. They were married by the Rev. John Stayton in the presence of their immediate family.
The newlyweds made their home north of Haigler in the Sandhills in the home Don’s parents had homesteaded. To this union, two children were born, Karen and Gail. Many memories came from their marriage that spanned 69 and a half years.
Virginia belonged to many clubs and organizations which included the Sandhill Butterfly Extension Club; the 75 Club; WSCS, which in later years became known as the United Methodist Women; the Nebraska Farm Bureau; the Nebraska Federation of Women’s Clubs; and the National Cattlewomen’s Association. She was a 4-H Leader while her children were active in 4-H, and had a special interest in Entomology, cooking and bird clubs. She and Don also enjoyed square dancing in the early years of their marriage.
On May 20, 1934, Virginia joined the Haigler United Methodist Church. The church and its activities were a large part of her life. She loved music and sang in a quartet for funerals.
Virginia also enjoyed gardening and took pride in the flowers she would grow in the sandy soil. Watching birds in their yard was a great pastime for her and one could always find a bird book close at hand as she would always identify each new bird that might stop at the bird feeder or bird bath.
Virginia never quit working on the family history project that she and Karen started in 1961. She would spend hours putting photos and news clippings into albums and kept the information updated as much as possible.
She was always there to help her children and grandchildren with 4-H projects and school homework, as she, over the years, had collected pictures that she thought might be useful for a project.
In the later years of their marriage, Virginia and Don enjoyed traveling to different places in the U.S. and abroad. Some of their trips took them to the Alaska Highway, where they were the “pickup and supply team” with their suburban when they traveled with a local motorcycle team. They also visited the Holy Land, the Passion Play in Germany and many other spots of interest in our wonderful United States of America.
On Tuesday, March 3, 2009, Virginia left this world to be with her Lord while residing at Hillcrest Care Center in Wray, Colo., at the age of 90 years.
Virginia is preceded in death by her parents, Lee and Florence Clegg; brothers, Stanley Clegg, Neal Clegg and Kent Clegg; brother-in-law, Ray Harford; and her father and mother-in-law, Harry and Margaret Harford.
She leaves to mourn her loving husband, Don Harford; daughter, Karen Harford; son, Gail Harford and wife, Wanda, all of Haigler, Neb.; eight grandchildren, Ty Mayo and wife, Laura, Torre Jones and wife, Seelu, Galen Mayo and fiancé, Ashleigh Brooks, Sean Mayo and wife, Sarah, Brad Harford, Sharla Morlan and husband, Joe, Nicole Howard and husband, Travis, and Natalie Harford; two great-grandchildren, Barrett and Gwen Mayo; sisters-in-law, Melba Harford, Dorothy Clegg and Doris Doyle; nieces and nephews, Linda Jones and husband, Gene, Glenda Brown, Ted Harford and wife, Vicky, Tom Harford and wife, Virginia, Janet McQuay, Steve Clegg and wife, Lonna, Jeanie Thompson and husband, Bill, Bob Clegg; and numerous other relatives and friends.
In her own words, written for a family history project her daughter, Karen, was working on in 1980, she wrote: “I am thankful for many things: my good, wonderful husband; my loving children and grandchildren (and if written today she would also include her great-grandchildren); my comfortable home and security; my good health and many, many other blessings too numerous to mention. Life is a struggle at times, as I suppose it is with all people. We must keep striving and trying and loving and giving and working at our life and its problems.”
Virginia and Don shared life as a true adventure. Yes, Virginia was a loving wife and mother and a good neighbor. She will be greatly missed.
A funeral service to honor her life was held Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 2:30 p.m. (MST) at the Haigler United Methodist Church in Haigler, Neb., with Pastor Carole Coates officiating.
Interment followed services at the Haigler Cemetery.
Memorials may be given to the Haigler United Methodist Church.
Arrangements were under the direction of Forch Funeral Chapel of Benkelman.